About the Heather Heritage Society

The Heather Heritage Society was formed in 1994 to raise awareness and lobby for the protection of the Heather Pavilion as well as advise on and support the restoration process.

Northeast quadrant of the Heather Pavilion, May 26, 2019
Bill Koochin’s ‘Rick Hansen, the Man in Motion’, 1997, in the foreground

Photography by Jodi Wigmore

Formation of the Society

In 1978, when the provincial government announced funding for a new tower complex (the Laurel, now Jim Pattison Pavilion) as part of a major rebuilding program, it was agreed that most of the existing VGH buildings would eventually be demolished, with additional open space created for the property.

Originally, the Heather Pavilion was included in the demolition plan. After several years of phased construction of the new tower, as well as ongoing work on the overall upgrades to the VGH property, a positive report from Henriquez Partners Architects about the Heather Pavilion noted that it was about 90% intact, and that it would be comparable in cost to rehabilitate the historic structure rather than demolish and replace it.

As such, in 1994, a few dedicated advocates formed the Heather Heritage Society to help preserve the Heather Pavilion as an important part of Vancouver’s architectural, social and cultural history.

Due to its significant historic value, the city agreed that the Heather Pavilion should be preserved, and it was designated as a heritage building in 2002 as part of the rezoning of the VGH campus.

The Society now has over a hundred dedicated members, and continues to promote the adaptive reuse of the Heather Heritage Pavilion.

Vision for the Future

The City and VGH have agreed that the designated 1906 building will be conserved as part of any redevelopment of the VGH campus.

The Society believes that the Heather Heritage Pavilion should be repurposed and restored to its original visual prominence. In its current situation, it can scarcely be seen, since it has been surrounded by numerous later additions. As these additions are removed, more parkland will be created, which will allow for the restoration of the Pavilion as well as its surrounding historic landscape.

As we look to the future, there will be an increased need for services such as health education, clinical research, adult day care or day hospitals, senior activity centres and child care for employees or the community. There is also a need for more community resources in the Fairview neighborhood. The restoration of the Heather Heritage Pavilion is an important next step in recognizing its role in our city’s history and reclaims a significant heritage asset of city-wide significance.

The historic Heritage Hall is a successful model of community collaboration and heritage restoration. Several groups working with the community and the city preserved this important building, which provides an elegant local venue for assorted special occasions.

A proposed contribution of funds in trust to the City for the restoration of the Heather Heritage Pavilion, combined with its heritage designation in 2002, will add much more certainty to the adaptation of the building for alternate uses.


The Heather Heritage Society also works with and supports the VGH School of Nursing Alumnae Association in the development of a museum and archival history of health care in Vancouver.

Graduating nurses 1908

Graduating Nurses, 1908

Vancouver Coastal Health